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 Principles of the Just War
Not a 'just war'
 Rally in New York Protests Possible Iraq War
 Global Economy Collapsing
 Manufacturing Shrinks, Auto Sales Slow
 Stocks soar as war fears fall
 Recession Arbiter Holding Out on Call
 Oil Prices and War
 Cost of war and the deficit
 Atomic Energy Agency says Bush lied
Principles of the Just War
  • A just war can only be waged as a last resort. All non-violent options must be exhausted before the use of force can be justified.
  • A war is just only if it is waged by a legitimate authority. Even just causes cannot be served by actions taken by individuals or groups who do not constitute an authority sanctioned by whatever the society and outsiders to the society deem legitimate.
  • A just war can only be fought to redress a wrong suffered. For example, self-defense against an armed attack is always considered to be a just cause (although the justice of the cause is not sufficient--see point #4). Further, a just war can only be fought with "right" intentions: the only permissible objective of a just war is to redress the injury.
  • A war can only be just if it is fought with a reasonable chance of success. Deaths and injury incurred in a hopeless cause are not morally justifiable.
  • The ultimate goal of a just war is to re-establish peace. More specifically, the peace established after the war must be preferable to the peace that would have prevailed if the war had not been fought.
  • The violence used in the war must be proportional to the injury suffered. States are prohibited from using force not necessary to attain the limited objective of addressing the injury suffered.
  • The weapons used in war must discriminate between combatants and non-combatants. Civilians are never permissible targets of war, and every effort must be taken to avoid killing civilians. The deaths of civilians are justified only if they are unavoidable victims of a deliberate attack on a military target.

Commentary:
Using the age old standard of a just war, a war against Iraq is unjust. So, why do so many so-called religious people support a war that has no moral standing? Have they been brain-washed by the Bush lie-machine or the endless media hype?


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Not a 'just war'
knoxnews.com
September 28, 2002

National Christian leaders oppose pre-emptive strike in Iraq

Christian leaders say President Bush's proposal of a preemptive strike against Iraq is not morally justified and would put the nation at grave risk.

"The Christian moral tradition ... sends a very clear 'no' to preemptive war on Iraq," said Shaun Casey, an assistant professor of Christian ethics at the Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington.

Casey is one of more than 100 ethicists, professors and theologians from Catholic and Protestant congregations nationwide who have started a petition against war on Iraq. They plan to send it to the White House and Capitol Hill.

"In the history of the 'just war' ethic, preemptive war has been viewed quite dimly," Casey said. "When you think about inflicting harm on someone, you have to have a justifiable reason."

Casey and Georgetown University theology professor John Langan said that in the history of what makes a "just war," a dual requirement must be met. The threat must be imminent, and it must be grave. Iraq presents neither situation, they said.

"It's not very easy to fit the proposed war into the 'just war' framework," Langan said. "A preemptive strike may be allowable when an attack is imminent, but this is not a blank check just whenever people have weapons. There needs to be a story as to why this person would use these weapons against us, soon."

Casey said a lack of discussion from the White House on what moral grounds the United States can attack Iraq has prompted not only the petition but also separate letters from Rowan Williams, the archbishop of Canterbury; Bishop Wilton Gregory, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; and Bob Edgar, general secretary of the National Council of Churches.

"We respectfully urge you to step back from the brink of war and help lead the world to act together to fashion an effective global response to Iraq's threats that conforms with traditional moral limits on the use of military force," Gregory wrote in his letter to Bush on Sept. 17.

But the White House said that there is a real and growing threat from Saddam Hussein. Spokesman Scott McClellan added that Bush has not yet committed to striking Iraq and that the nation has always had a policy of preemptive attack.

"That has already been addressed by the president and others," McClellan said. "Preemption has always been a part of American policy. If the lives of American people are put at risk, that policy has always existed."

Regarding the petition, McClellan said: "There's a presumption there. The president has not made any decision on a course of action when it comes to the growing threat Saddam poses to the United States."

Casey disagreed with the White House that the United States has always had a preemptive strike policy toward threats, citing the nation's resistance to entering World War II until the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Using the administration's logic, he questioned whether Baghdad could weigh its own preemptive attack on the United States because of Washington's open consideration of striking Iraq.

"We would certainly be outraged if we were the subject of a preemptive attack by Iraq," Casey said. "We'd not want to be on the receiving end of that logic."

He added that a strike against Iraq would fundamentally change the nation's standing in the world community and set a dangerous precedent.

"The administration's attempt to normalize a preemptive war policy really is a radical move, a dangerous move with long-lasting consequences," Casey said. "What happens if other nations assume that policy as the normal course of action? We would have the formula for World War III between (nuclear powers) Pakistan and India."

Commentary:
When you decide this issue for yourself, ask yourself one simple question. What moral authority does Bush have to attack a country that hasn't harmed the US? If you can't think of a moral code then you MUST oppose this war.


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Rally in New York Protests Possible Iraq War
Reuters.com
October 06, 2002

NEW YORK (Reuters) - About 10,000 protesters gathered in New York City's Central Park on Sunday to demonstrate against a possible U.S. military strike on Iraq, witnesses said.

A range of people of all ages and including Muslim leaders and U.S. war veterans recited a "Pledge of Resistance" saying in part that "not in our name will you wage endless war, not in our name will you invade countries, bomb civilians, kill more children."

The organizers -- a group called Not in Our Name --estimated the crowd in the East Meadow of the park at 50,000, but independent witnesses said it was closer to 10,000-strong.

The rally was one of a series planned across the country on Sunday including protests in Anchorage, Alaska, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Denver, Colorado.

Speakers, including actor Martin Sheen who plays the U.S. president in the television show "West Wing," asked protesters to put pressure on their congressional representatives to oppose President Bush's quest for the all-clear to wage war with the aim of toppling the regime of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

Bush is due to make his case for possible military action against Iraq, which he claims has developed weapons of mass destruction and poses a grave danger, in a nationally televised speech on Monday night.

Last week, more than 150,000 protesters turned out in Britain to oppose a possible military strike against Iraq. On Saturday, thousands demonstrated across Italy and in Greece to voice their opposition.

"It's great to see a public debate on such a critical issue," Sheen said, adding that 40 years ago the then President John Kennedy used diplomacy to prevent the Cuban missile crisis sparking a war.

Commentary:
Does anyone know why we're going to war with Iraq? It seem the term "weapons of mass destruction" has polled well for the president so he uses it daily. What exactly is a WMD? A car bomb? a plane headed for a building? etc. And why does the US feel this need to attack first? What evidence do we have that Iraq is planning an attack against the US? The Bush White House is immoral and unjust.


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Global Economy Collapsing
Reuters.com
October 01, 2002

NEW YORK, Oct 1 (Reuters) - Manufacturing shrank in the world's three largest economies in September with global demand damaged by rising energy costs, the threat of war and stock markets plumbing multi-year lows.

Surveys of factory executives in the United States, Europe, and Japan showed the hesitant recovery of recent months reversing as business and consumer confidence wanes, causing companies to cut production and jobs to combat shrinking world-wide demand.

"It looks like we are heading for quite a sharp contraction in global industrial activity," said Lorenzo Codogno at Bank of America in London.

Business conditions in U.S. factories, the first major monthly read on the world's largest economy, fell in September to 49.5 from 50.5 in both August and July -- just below the divider between shrinkage and growth, the Institute of Supply Management said on Tuesday.

Americans' appetite for new cars also waned in September, causing automakers to roll out a fresh round of interest-free financing to try and jump-start auto demand.

In Japan, the central bank's quarterly "tankan" survey on Tuesday posted a -14 reading, with companies saying they intended to cut capital spending, which may signal more weakness ahead. However, the overall index did improve slightly, rising four points from the June quarter.

But the persistent weakness of Japan, laid flat by a decade of stagnation, was highlighted in its Purchasing Management Index report which fell in September to 48.9 -- the first reading in five months below the 50 mark that denotes contraction.

These poor readings from the world's No. 1 and No. 2 economies compounded a report on Monday that showed shrinkage in European manufacturing. The Reuters Eurozone Purchasing Managers' Index also fell through the critical 50 line in September to 48.9 in September from 50.8 in August.

Shaky global performance drew concern from Ireland's Finance Minister Charlie McCreevy who questioned the strength of recovery from last year's downturn.

"It is not clear at this point whether or not it will be sustained for the remainder of the year," McCreevy told New York investors.

Some economists said stalled growth heightens the case for central banks to consider cutting interest rates before year end to shore up growth before it's too late.

Paul Kasriel, director of economic research at Northern Trust Co. in Chicago, said the U.S. manufacturing report clearly shows problems afoot and "provides convincing evidence to consider lowering of the funds rate."

The U.S. bond market is betting the Federal Reserve will cut its benchmark funds rate, now at 1.75 percent, by year's end.

But other economists said these reports alone are not sufficient to prove the fragile recovery is in serious danger.

"The key issue is whether this was more of a soft patch or the first phase of a more prolonged erosion -- an issue that cannot be sorted out until we have at least one more month's worth of data," said Anthony Karydakis, senior economist at Banc One Capital Markets in Chicago.

Indeed, stock markets turned their backs on the weak data, jubilant over a deal for United Nations' weapons inspectors to return to Iraq within the next few weeks.

The Dow Jones industrial average shot up 4.6 percent to 7,938.79. European stock indices all posted sizable gains after the quarter-end drubbing on Monday, led by a 3.47 percent advance for the German DAX.

North American-made car sales in September were running at around a 5.4 million annual pace with trucks at 7.4 million, with the majority of manufacturers reporting. Even allowing for some upside surprise from the remainder, that was well below forecasts of 6.0 million cars and 7.8 million trucks, and far short of August's huge 6.5 million and 8.9 million pace.

Totaled, the annual pace in September came to 12.8 million against 15.4 million in August, a fall of 17 percent.

But there was a glimmer of hope from Britain, the world's fourth biggest economy. There, the manufacturing survey showed the sector expanding, but just barely. The PMI slid to 50.2 in September from 51.0 in August.

"The manufacturing sector is going to continue to struggle in the next few months," said Ciaran Barr at Deutsche Bank in London. "The U.S. and Euroland are two major trading partners...and they are under significant downward pressure." (With additional reporting by Pratima Desai in London)

Commentary:
With deflation becoming well-rooted in the economy, the talk of double-dip recession seems meaningless to this writer. The stock market, farming, ranching, and now manufacturing and auto's are being hit(again). The only bright spot is housing. If housing takes a dive, there's no way of knowing how far the markets will fall.

Bush needs to build confidence in the future, not destroy it.


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Manufacturing Shrinks, Auto Sales Slow
Reuters.com
October 01, 2002

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. manufacturing contracted in September for the first time in eight months while auto sales slowed sharply, signaling the fragile economic recovery may be at risk of stumbling.

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said its factory index, the first major monthly read on the U.S. economy, slipped to 49.5 from 50.5 in August, falling under the 50 break point that divides growth from shrinkage.

At the same time consumers, whose torrid spending has driven the recovery, slowed their purchases of autos this summer despite low interest rates. Chain store sales also declined during the latest week.

Taken together, the data suggested the remainder of the year could see a marked pullback in growth from a robust pace of near 4 percent forecast for the third quarter. Such a slowing may prompt the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates again to shore up flagging business and investor confidence.

"The overall economic recovery is still on track but we suspect it may need another push to get it past a growing number of obstacles," said Drew Matus, senior economist at Lehman Brothers.

Manufacturing executives polled by ISM said they were worried about the impact on business of higher energy costs and a possible U.S. war on Iraq. Desperate to salvage profits, they fired more workers in September, extending a two-year trend.

This raised concerns that September payrolls due out on Friday may show sharp job losses, further undermining fragile confidence and hurting the patchy recovery.

"The key issue is whether this was more of a soft patch or the first phase of a more prolonged erosion -- an issue that cannot be sorted out until we have at least one more month's worth of data," said Anthony Karydakis, senior economist at Banc One Capital Markets in Chicago.

In another indication of the pessimistic climate, corporate spending on construction of new offices, plants and stores hit a six-year low in August, the government said, and shows little sign of improving. This will drag on third-quarter growth, said John Ryding, chief market economist at Bear Stearns.

Stocks shrugged off the data, however, rallying strongly a day after their worst quarterly performance since the 1987 market crash. A massive 4.57 percent surge in the Dow Jones industrial average took some money out of Treasury securities though investors still were pricing in chances of another Fed interest rate cut before year's end.

AUTO SALES REVERSE

U.S. auto sales, which account for about one-fifth of U.S. retail sales, hit a big pothole in September. General Motors GM.N sales fell 13 percent from August and the Number One U.S. automaker extended its interest-free five-year loans to most 2002 and 2003 models to help revive demand.

Ford Motor Co. F.N said its U.S. vehicle sales fell 5 percent in September. Even good news from the Chrysler side of DaimlerChrysler AG DCX.N DCXGn.DE , where U.S. sales jumped 18 percent, did not alter the grim picture.

Total North American-made auto sales in September were running at a 13.1 million annualized unit pace for cars and light trucks, down 15 percent from August's torrid pace of 15.4 million units. September's sales were also sharply lower than analysts' forecasts for a 13.8 million unit rate.

"The weak auto sales in September will almost certainly lead to a big decline in retail sales for the month," said Karydakis.

With consumers accounting for two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, a prolonged pullback in their spending spells trouble for an economy that is firing only one cylinder right now.

The nation's chain stores are starting to feel the pinch. Their sales fell 0.8 percent in the week ended Sept. 28 on top of a 1.7 percent decline in the preceding week, the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi and UBS Warburg reported. Retail sales fell 0.7 percent in the month of September as a whole compared with August, Instinet said in its weekly Redbook survey.

STALLED OR STUMBLING?

While the factory index showed the first contraction since January, the head of ISM's forecasting group Norbert Ore cautioned that it often slips and does not necessarily portend the economy is tipping back into recession.

"We're a long way from a double-dip in the overall economy, but certainly manufacturing is bordering on that area," he said in a teleconference with reporters.

Indeed the new orders index, a gauge of future production, rose in September to 50.2 from 49.7 in August although it has fallen about 15 points from a peak of 65.3 in March.

Factories again shed workers from payrolls in September, extending a recent downward trend seen since mid-2000. The employment index, mired below 50 for two years, fell to 44.9 in September from 45.8 in August.

The fall in the employment index could spell bad news for the national jobs report, expected Friday. Economists forecast the economy created only 5,000 new jobs in September and the unemployment rate rose to 5.9 percent from 5.7 percent.

The factory data were at odds with a report that said monthly job cut announcements fell by 41 percent in September to their lowest level in nearly two years. U.S. companies announced 70,057 job cuts compared with 118,067 in August, outplacement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas said.

Commentary:
The economy is in serious trouble so whenever new economic data comes out you can be your bottom dollar Bush will be beating the drums of war even louder. War drums knock bad economic news off the front page every time.


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Stocks soar as war fears fall
Reuters.com
October 01, 2002

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stocks soared in a late comeback on Tuesday, kicking off a fresh quarter on a bright note as a deal between Iraq and the United Nations took the edge off nagging war fears and helped lure bargain-hungry investors back into the ravaged market.

"It's the first day of a new quarter. People are looking for bargains," said Arnie Owen, managing director of capital markets at Roth Capital Partners. "People are putting money to work."

U.N. and Iraqi negotiators said early in the afternoon that Iraq agreed to a resumption of U.N. weapons inspections, with an advance team of inspectors due in about two weeks. The deal offered some relief to a market plagued by the uncertainty of a potential U.S. strike to oust Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

The agreement, coupled with a handful of encouraging comments from companies like mortgage giant Fannie Mae FNM.N and drug company Forest Laboratories Inc. FRX.N , pulled in bargain hunters eager to put their cash to work at the start of the fourth quarter.

But skepticism dogged the rally a day after the blue-chip Dow and the broad Standard & Poor's 500 suffered their biggest quarterly drop since the crash of 1987. Traders noted the fragile economy, weak corporate profits and the prospect of a war against Iraq still overhang the market.

"The story coming out about Iraq making a possible deal with the U.N. helped, but there's still no change in the fundamentals" said James Volk, managing director of equity trading at D.A. Davidson and Co.

The Dow Jones industrial average surged 346.86 points, or 4.57 percent, to 7,938.79, according to the latest available data, scoring its biggest one-day percentage gain since July 29. All thirty of the Dow components ticked higher. The blue-chip gauge had hit its lowest close since August 1998 on Monday.

The Nasdaq composite index rallied 41.51 points, or 3.54 percent, at 1,213.57, after falling into negative ground earlier in the day. The technology-loaded index had suffered its lowest close since September 1996 on Monday.

The S&P 500 index climbed 32.64 points, or 4 percent, to 847.92. The broad market measure ended September with its biggest one-month decline since 1998.

Winners beat out losers by a ratio of 11 to 5 on the New York Stock Exchange and 6 to 5 on the Nasdaq. About 1.7 billion shares changed hands on both the Big Board and on Nasdaq in moderate trading.

The market had stumbled early in the session after a report showed that U.S. manufacturing contracted slightly in September for the first time in eight months. A string of weak economic reports has spurred speculation that the Federal Reserve may fire off another interest rate cut to help spur the fragile economic recovery.

World oil prices rose toward 19-month highs as the threat of a severe storm disruption to Gulf of Mexico oil and gas operations plagued the market. Even news that Iraq agreed to a resumption of U.N. weapons inspections failed to bring prices down far from their peaks.

Exxon Mobil Corp. XOM.N , the largest publicly traded oil company, rose $2.02, or more than 6 percent, to $33.92. Other energy companies followed the upward trend. ChevronTexaco Corp. CVX.N jumped $2.86, or more than 4 percent, to $72.11. ConocoPhillips COP.N tacked on $1.87, or more than 4 percent, to $48.11.

Technology heavyweights ticked higher after being pounded in the third quarter. Web gear giant Cisco Systems Inc. CSCO.O rose 46 cents to $10.94, erasing earlier losses. Software titan Microsoft Corp. MSFT.O moved into positive ground, up $2.49 at $46.23. Intel Corp. INTC.O , the No. 1 computer chipmaker, was up 78 cents at $14.67.

Forest Laboratories surged $7.84, or more than 9 percent, to $89.85. The drug company said it would significantly exceed analysts' estimates for its fiscal second quarter because of strong sales of antidepressant drugs.

Mortgage giant Fannie Mae jumped $5.68, or more than 9 percent, to $65.22 after saying its portfolio duration gap narrowed. The duration gap, a measure of the mismatch of money coming in and money going out, had widened as mortgage refinancing soared, leading investors in Fannie Mae to worry about a profit squeeze at the company.

Pepsi Bottling Group Inc. PBG.N rose $1.60, or more than 6 percent, to $25. The largest manufacturer of Pepsi-Cola drinks said its third-quarter profit rose despite lighter-than-anticipated volume in the United States and Spain.

Sun Microsystems Inc. SUNW.O rose 17 cents to $2.76. In an annual report filed on Monday, the computer maker revised upward by more than threefold its reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings, saying costs were less than it had earlier expected.

Aeropostale Inc. ARO.N sank $8.90, or more than 57 percent, to $6.50. The youth-oriented apparel retailer after the close on Monday slashed its profit outlook for the rest of the year as mall traffic dwindles, forcing it to cut prices.

Investors managed to shake off weak economic data. The Institute for Supply Management said its index of business conditions in factories, the first major monthly read on the U.S. economy, fell in September to 49.5 from 50.5 in both August and July. The fall put the index just below the 50 mark, denoting contraction in a sector that makes up roughly one-sixth of the U.S. economy.

On Wall Street, October is known as the jinx month because of market crashes in 1929 and 1987 as well as a big drop on Oct. 27, 1997, according to the Stock Trader's Almanac 2002.

But October can also be a "bear killer" and has turned the tide in nine such declining markets since the end of World War II, notes the Almanac.

Commentary:
The single largest confidence killer is GWB. As long as he can keep war in the headlines his party will likely gain seats. However, if Americans begin to disregard this war-monger confidence will return, the markets will go up and the economy will recover. Don't bet on it though, at least not until the end of this election cycle. Bush needs war and without it the flaws in his economic plan including deficit spending become the center of the election. Bush will find a way to destroy the confidence the markets have shown today...watch!


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Recession Arbiter Holding Out on Call
Reuters.com
September 29, 2002

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The head of an elite panel that decides U.S. business cycles said on Sunday the recession may have ended as early as last November, but his group won't formally declare it over until it rules out a renewed slump.

"We're not ready to do that," Robert Hall, chairman of the National Bureau of Economic Research's business-cycle dating panel, told a meeting of business economists here.

"A lot will depend on the (payroll) number that comes out on Friday. If it's negative, that's definitely going to cause us to pause," Hall later told reporters.

The Labor Department will on Friday report employment data for the month of September. Economists surveyed by Reuters expect on average payrolls to have edged ahead by 5,000 while the unemployment rate is seen rising to 5.9 percent from 5.7 percent in August.

The economists who make up the Business Cycle Dating Committee often wait many months before pegging peaks and troughs in the economy. The group, widely regarded as authoritative, held off until December 1992 to declare that March 1991 marked the end of the 1990-91 recession, for instance.

At Sunday's conference of the National Association for Business Economics, Hall said if payroll growth was very strong for two more months, however, then that might give the NBER panel a basis for calling an end to the recession.

"November is probably the earliest date we'd pick and March is the latest date," he said of the recession's end, assuming the U.S. economy continues growing from here.

NEED TO GET IT RIGHT

Hall quipped that the committee gets a lot of criticism in the media for not making quicker calls and added that his group takes a cautious approach to its decision-making.

"The thing we care about most is not getting it wrong," Hall said.

He said one "cloud" over the process is the as yet unanswered question of whether the U.S. economy might slip back into a renewed downturn.

If that happens, the panel would have to decide if such a renewed downturn would mark a separate recession or would be considered part of the contraction that began in March 2001.

While a loose rule of thumb defines a recession as two consecutive quarters of a contraction in gross domestic product, NBER uses different criteria as guideposts.

"I hope we won't enter this question of a second recession," Hall said. "We're not satisfied as of today that that wouldn't be a problem."

A recession must also meet the famed "three Ds": it must have sufficient depth, dispersion and duration.

"There's a real cloud over this two recession, one recession question. We're just going to wait ... If the economy were to turn negative and to meet the three Ds again starting today, we'd have a close call about whether that's one recession or two," Hall said.

"If the economy were to expand and to continue the expansion of output we have seen and the very modest expansion of employment that has occurred to date, we would then place the trough somewhere at the end of 2001 -- November and December would be candidates...(March) would probably be the latest we'd consider it."

The U.S. economy has been in an uneven recovery since the year started, but remains hampered by a lack of confidence in businesses who are reluctant to hire or invest in new equipment. A slide in stocks sparked by corporate profit worries and concerns about the possibility of a U.S. attack in Iraq has also unsettled the outlook.

On Friday, another steep sell-off took the blue chip Dow Jones industrial average to four-year lows and the technology-rich Nasdaq to lows unseen for six years.

Commentary:
What a mess. August unemployment dropped because government employment grew by 41,000. Bush, like Reagan before him, depends on massive government growth and the resulting deficits to create the illusion of economic growth. Growth spiked during the first quarter (only because of massive growth in government) and has remained in the 1-2% range since then, almost exactly like the economy during the first Bush Administration.


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Oil Prices and War
Reuters.com
September 30, 2002

LONDON (Reuters) - Oil prices held strong on Monday as top U.N. arms inspectors and Iraqi arms experts were set to hold crucial talks as the United States and Britain stepped up pressure on Saddam Hussein.

London Brent crude futures were trading four cents stronger at $28.92 a barrel while U.S. light crude lost two cents at $30.52.

All eyes were on Vienna, where U.N. weapons inspectors and Iraqi arms experts prepared to meet on ways for the inspectors to return to Baghdad in a bid to ward off a full-scale military attack led by the United States.

U.N. chief inspector Hans Blix said on Monday he expected his team to have unlimited access during inspections when they return to Iraq after a nearly four year absence.

Some traders interpreted that as a positive sign but they expected any agreement on the return of inspectors to hit obstacles.

On Sunday, Blix met nuclear weapons experts from the U.N.'s Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency ahead of Monday's meeting with the Iraqis.

He declined to disclose any details of his plans or strategy, saying the U.N. Security Council had asked him to keep his cards close to his chest.

The talks are the first test of Iraq's cooperation since Baghdad agreed on September 16 to the unconditional return of the inspectors under threat of a strike.

On Sunday, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, President Bush's closest ally against Baghdad, said he would not rule out an attack against Iraq even if the U.N. refused to back it.

Washington and London are trying to push through a tough new U.S.-drafted resolution that threatens military action and rewrites the ground rules for the inspectors.

Oil dealers were dissecting every twist in the Iraq standoff, which has added a hefty premium to oil prices.

"I think Saddam will put on a charm offensive now to avoid an attack," said Jay Saunders of Deutsche Bank.

Analysts and traders said they expected Iraq tensions to drag on and provide support for oil prices.

"Our view is that the current situation is still some way from any resolution or removal of uncertainty, and hence will provide further support to prices over the next two quarters in addition to that created by the inherently tight state of the fundamentals," said Paul Horsnell in JP Morgan's oil market report.

U.S. intelligence officials believe Iraqi President Saddam Hussein already has given his field commanders authority to use biological and chemical weapons in the event of a U.S. invasion, prompting a planned Pentagon campaign to deter Iraqi officers from using such weapons, The Washington Post reported on Monday.

Citing defense and intelligence officials, the newspaper said the campaign would include massive leafleting of Iraqi military positions but also might use covert techniques to carry the U.S. message to Iraqi officers.

Further support for prices came from Tropical Storm Lili, which was on a path that would take it across Cuba into the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

Commentary:
Bush has been very successful getting the price of oil to rise. For many years OPEC has been trying to get oil prices to their target price of $25 a barrel. Under Bush OPEC is getting far above that target. So, if you like big oil, or OPEC or higher prices (oil fuels our economy), higher inflation, or recession, Bush is your man.


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Some of what Bush said about Democrats
DNC.org
Sep 27, 2002.

Democrats Stand Against Politicization of War and Homeland Security

President Bush said Democrats were "not interested in the security of the American people," joining a number of Republican officials who have attempted to turn the war on terrorism, homeland security, and prospect of military action in Iraq into a political advantage in the upcoming midterm elections.

Some recent comments from Republicans that attempt to make a political issue out of America's security include:

President Bush. At a fundraiser for New Jersey Senate candidate Doug Forrester, Bush said, "The Senate is more interested in special interests in Washington and not interested in the security of the American people."

White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card. When asked why the administration waited until after Labor Day to try to sell the American people on military action with Iraq, Card said, "From a marketing point of view, you don't introduce new products in August."

Vice President Cheney. At a GOP fundraiser, Cheney said electing Republican Congressional candidate Adam Taff would "be vital in helping us meet the key priorities for the nation -- in terms of winning the war on terror, strengthening the economy, and defending our homeland."

Bush pollster Matthew Dowd. Dowd, the senior pollster for the White House and the Republican National Committee, told attendees at a GOP Victory Dinner that "the number one driver for our base motivationally is this war."

Democrats respond
Democrats strongly responded to Bush's offensive accusation that they aren't interested in keeping America's families safe. Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle took Bush to task on the floor of the Senate, saying

The president is quoted in The Washington Post this morning as saying that Democratic -- the Democratic-controlled Senate is "not interested in the security of the American people." Not interested in the security of the American people? You tell Senator Inouye he is not interested in the security of the American people. You tell those who fought in Vietnam and in World War II they are not interested in the security of the American people. That is outrageous -- outrageous.

The president ought to apologize to Senator Inouye and every veteran who fought in every war who is a Democrat in the United States Senate. He ought to apologize to the American people. That is wrong. We ought not politicize this war. We ought not to politicize the rhetoric about war in life and death.

Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii is a Medal of Honor winner who lost his right arm fighting in World War II, just one of several Senate Democrats who have served their country in the military. House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt also blasted Republicans for questioning Democrats' patriotism, saying in a New York Times op-ed:

To question people's patriotism for simply raising questions about how a war is to be fought and won -- to say that anybody who doesn't support the president's particular policy on national security is against national security -- is not only insulting, it's immoral.

While Republicans have made America's security into a political issue, they have put Americans at risk. Democrats proposed the creation of a Homeland Security Department months ago, and President Bush threatened to veto such a move. Bush later changed his mind, but Senate Republicans have delayed the passage of a Homeland Security bill, fighting to strip protections for workers in the new department.

Commentary:
Why won't Bush apologize? Could it be because he lacks maturity, common decency, character and integrity? Bush needs to show us he's man enough to be president.


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Cost of war and the deficit
www.cbo.gov
August 29, 2002

August 29, 2002
Honorable John M. Spratt Jr.
Ranking Democratic Member
Committee on the Budget
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Congressman:

As you requested, the Congressional Budget Office has prepared a summary of federal costs associated with the tragic events of September 11, 2001. This information is presented in the attached tables and is based on an analysis of enacted legislation, the President's budget request for fiscal year 2003, and legislative proposals considered in the House of Representatives.

Legislation Enacted in Response to September 11

....CBO estimates that legislation enacted to date in response to September 11 increased spending in 2001 by about $3 billion and reduced revenues by $0.5 billion. In 2002, we estimate a spending increase of $34 billion and a net revenue decrease of $0.2 billion. In total, over the 2001-2007 period, we estimate that the legislation will result in about $76 billion in increased spending and about $5 billion in lost revenue. (The estimated budgetary impact of the enacted legislation is negligible after 2007.) The amounts shown in Table 1 are CBO's current estimates of spending and revenue changes under the enacted legislation. That is, those estimates are included in our August 2002 baseline. (heavily edited)

Commentary:
Conservatives have been saying the war on terrorism is one of the major causes of our current deficits. The facts say otherwise. Rule #1, if a republican says it, it must be a lie.


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Atomic Energy Agency says Bush lied
Washingtontimes.com
September 27, 2002

The International Atomic Energy Agency says that a report cited by President Bush as evidence that Iraq in 1998 was "six months away" from developing a nuclear weapon does not exist.

"There's never been a report like that issued from this agency," Mark Gwozdecky, the IAEA's chief spokesman, said yesterday in a telephone interview from the agency's headquarters in Vienna, Austria.

"We've never put a time frame on how long it might take Iraq to construct a nuclear weapon in 1998," said the spokesman of the agency charged with assessing Iraq's nuclear capability for the United Nations.

In a Sept. 7 news conference with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Mr. Bush said: "I would remind you that when the inspectors first went into Iraq and were denied — finally denied access [in 1998], a report came out of the Atomic — the IAEA that they were six months away from developing a weapon.

"I don't know what more evidence we need," said the president, defending his administration's case that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was building weapons of mass destruction.

The White House says Mr. Bush was referring to an earlier IAEA report.

"He's referring to 1991 there," said Deputy Press Secretary Scott McClellan. "In '91, there was a report saying that after the war they found out they were about six months away."

Mr. Gwozdecky said no such report was ever issued by the IAEA in 1991.

Many news agencies — including The Washington Times — reported Mr. Bush's Sept. 7 comments as referring to a 1998 IAEA report. The White House did not ask for a correction from The Times.

To clear up the confusion, Mr. McClellan cited two news articles from 1991 — a July 16 story in the London Times by Michael Evans and a July 18 story in the New York Times by Paul Lewis. But neither article cites an IAEA report on Iraq's nuclear-weapons program or states that Saddam was only six months away from "developing a weapon" — as claimed by Mr. Bush.

The article by Mr. Evans says: "Jay Davis, an American expert working for the U.N. special commission charged with removing Iraq's nuclear capability, said Iraq was only six months away from the large-scale production of enriched uranium at two plants inspected by UN officials."

The Lewis article said Iraq in 1991 had a uranium "enrichment plant using electromagnetic technology [that] was about six months from becoming operational."

In October 1998, just before Saddam kicked U.N. weapons inspectors out of Iraq, the IAEA laid out a case opposite of Mr. Bush's Sept. 7 declaration.

"There are no indications that there remains in Iraq any physical capability for the production of weapon-usable nuclear material of any practical significance," IAEA Director-General Mohammed Elbaradei wrote in a report to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair on Sept. 7 cited an agency "report" declaring that satellite photography revealed the Iraqis had undertaken new construction at several nuclear-related sites. This week, the IAEA said no such report existed.

The IAEA also took issue with a Sept. 9 report by the International Institute for Strategic Studies — cited by the Bush administration — that concludes Saddam "could build a nuclear bomb within months if he were able to obtain fissile material."

"There is no evidence in our view that can be substantiated on Iraq's nuclear-weapons program. If anybody tells you they know the nuclear situation in Iraq right now, in the absence of four years of inspections, I would say that they're misleading you because there isn't solid evidence out there," Mr. Gwozdecky said.

"I don't know where they have determined that Iraq has retained this much weaponization capability because when we left in December '98 we had concluded that we had neutralized their nuclear-weapons program. We had confiscated their fissile material. We had destroyed all their key buildings and equipment," he said.

Mr. Gwozdecky said there is no evidence about Saddam's nuclear capability right now — either through his organization, other agencies or any government.

Commentary:
Talk shows (otherwise called news programs)continue to spread the lies about Iraq having or being months away from having nuclear weapons. When will Americans hear the truth? If Bush has his way, the answer is never. The US will go to war before weapon inspectors can prove beyond a shadow of doubt that Bush lied again (and again, and again). Give truth a chance.


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